Where to dine …
Taste sensations are on offer at the many restaurants and cafés within the town. Find delicacies to revive your body after the scenic drive to town, a stroll around our sculptures, or a strenuous bushwalk in the national parks.
Choose from the famous Café Graze or the Walcha Royal Café. Both cafés offer home made sumptuous gourmet sensations.
There is a selection of fantastic pub menus available, offering our guests food found more often in areas like ‘The Rocks’ in Sydney. The Apsley Arms Hotel and Commercial Hotel both have wonderful dining facilities. The Walcha Road Pub is a short drive to the west, where you can wine and dine in an 1860s historic building looking over rural vistas.
Chinese food is available at the New England Hotel Motel, or you can visit the Walcha Pub’s site for more on the ‘hot rock’ platter or fresh seafood dishes.
Local clubs such as the Walcha Bowling Club cater for families to larger groups, or you can sit down to a lovely selection at the Ex-Services Memorial Club.
There are many takeaway restaurants in town, with West End store, the Apsley Takeaway Café and the Thunderbolts Café found on the east side of the river.
Most B&Bs and farm stays cater beautiful food on request. Why not call into the Nowendoc Store on your way along the Thunderbolts Way for a hearty country burger? Try a healthy lunch at Think Naturally, while you shop for those hard to find foods that have no preservatives.
Where to stay …
Walcha has a vast array of accommodation available, catering for the weary travellers, adventure seekers, wilderness explorers and families wanting to escape the stress of everyday life and spend quality time reconnecting with family members.
We have well appointed, clean and comfortable motels, including the Walcha Motel in the heart of Walcha, Nowendoc Country Motel in the township of Nowendoc and New England Hotel / Motel in Walcha.
If you are looking for a ‘home away from home’ and would like a B&B experience, there is our multi-award winning Anglea House, stylishly appointed Walcha Guesthouse and the charming Valley Views Cottage, all conveniently located in town. Additionally, the most recent accommodation to be offered in town is the Walcha Royal Café and B&B offering quality accommodation and gourmet coffee and cooking.
If you would like something for the more adventurous with the true farm experience, how about escaping to Cheyenne Wilderness Retreat, overlooking the gorge country, or Kohinui Park Bed & Breakfast on the Oxley Highway, situated in the Yarrowitch Valley.
We also boast rural retreats such as Bloomfield’s Crossing, comprising ‘Hole Creek’ homestead, offering a true rural retreat with four bedrooms, large country kitchen, two living areas and two bathrooms accommodating up to 10 guests.
Why not spend a night in a stone cabin next to a huge lake and grill up a freshly caught trout for dinner at Lochlorian Trout Fishing and Getaway?
Closer to town, Brookmount Retreat provides a self contained, three bedroom, private country cottage perfect for families, small groups and motor bike enthusiasts for overnight stays or extended holidays.Our caravan park is second to none, and feedback received at the Visitor Information Centre is that it is the best park in Australia. Rated with four stars, the park has new ensuite cabins, drive through van areas, a great BBQ area and the tidiest amenities block around, with heated flooring and piped music to sing along to in the shower. There is a huge area to pitch a tent or to kick a soccer ball with the kids. Bring your pets, as they will be welcomed at the Walcha Caravan Park.
Maybe a stay on the MacDonald River at Woolbrook Hall would suit … ideal for those travelling with caravans, or those simply seeking a hot shower and cooking facilities, with very reasonable tariffs. Access to power is also available at the Woolbrook Hall, and a hearty meal is only a short drive to the Walcha Road Pub.
If you are a budding jackeroo or jillaroo or are seeking backpackers style accommodation in a rural environment, this can be found at the Red Hill Jackaroo / Jillaroo School at Yarrowitch or Ross’ Balnagowan Backpacker farm stay.
The pubs in town have been recently renovated, and offer great food, beverages and friendly service, with entertainment offered most weekends. They have ensuite rooms, as well as the authentic Aussie shared bathroom arrangement. There is the Apsley Arms, the Commercial and the New England Hotel Motel. The pubs in Walcha all have lock up facilities for motorbikes.
Great meals and beverages can be also experienced at the Walcha Road Hotel. This historic Australian icon was recently rebuilt, as the original old pub was burnt in a fire and the owners were pulling beers from a train carriage. The old carriage, although not in use, is still there for photo opportunities.
What to do …
Fishing In The Walcha District: the Walcha district hosts some of the best fishing waters in Australia. Eastern and Rainbow Trout are the primary fish of the region. Eastern Bass fishing in the Apsley gorge has become very popular, with access through the ‘River Side Trail’, which offers unique wilderness 4WDing to the Apsley River, about an hour east of Walcha.
Park entry is via booking with the National Parks office in Walcha, or pick up a key when you get to town at Apsley Motors Service Station – open seven days a week.
Step back in history …
Walcha was settled in the early 1800s and has many impressive old buildings and country homesteads. There are many interesting buildings well worth inspection. These include the banks and public buildings such as the court house and post office, all in Derby Street.
Typical country hotels are exemplified by the Commercial, New Royal, Apsley and New England. The Walcha Ex-Services Memorial Club has been remodelled from a former bank building.
The three churches all have a history dating back more than a century. The first Catholic Chapel in Walcha was erected in 1854. The first Presbyterian church was built during 1857 and was a small wooden building. It was replaced by the present church, which was opened on 5 May 1888. The stone built Anglican Church was erected in 1862.
One kilometre south of the John Oxley Cairn in Derby Street is the Historic homestead of ‘Langford’. This was the campsite of John Oxley in 1818.
Walcha’s National Parks
The Macleay Gorges Wilderness area is a natural gateway to this magnificent area of 167,000 hectares, which contains wild rivers, gorges, magnificent mountain scenery and Australian native wildlife.
The wilderness area incorporates most of the Oxley Wild Rivers and Werrikimbe National Parks. Camping sites are available at several park locations.
Oxley Wild Rivers is one of the great national parks in New South Wales. It is the scenic gorge country – 90,000 hectares of it, making it the seventh largest national park in the state. It contains the 50,000 ha Macleay Gorges Wilderness Area and is listed on the register of World Heritage sites in recognition of its importance to nature conservation.
It weaves 70 km from Wollomombi Gorges through to Tia Falls, laced with 500 km of wild and scenic rivers and the largest area of dry rain forest in the state. Declared in 1986, the park is home to 755 plant species (21 are rare or endangered), 173 birds, 31 reptiles, 17 amphibians and 47 mammal species.
Throughout the park there are easy walks, spectacular lookouts, scenic photography, picnicking, bush walking and canoeing. You can camp at rest areas or more remote camp sites down on the river. It is all there to enjoy. The park includes: Wollomombi Gorge, Long Point, Gara Gorge, Dangars Gorge, Tia Falls, Apsley Falls, Apsley Gorge, East Kunderang, Mt Yarrowyck Riverside and Budds Mare.
You can enjoy a relaxing picnic with magnificent views, take a stroll on a graded track to experience more of the park, take stunning photographs from the well placed lookouts, go bush walking to explore further, have a swim in one of the many waterholes, or even go canoeing.
If you love the outdoors, Oxley Wild Rivers is the place for you. The park is a very special place to visit.
Open Air Sculptures
When in town, whether passing through or staying a while, be sure to call in to the Visitor Information Centre to pick up a brochure on the town and walk around our sculptures.
There are 41 pieces of art scattered around the town, which have been created by local, national and international artists.
Most of the works have been created using local timbers, numerous pieces forming seats for taking in the ambience of our great vistas around town.
At the suggestion of the Walcha Arts Council, Walcha Council has adopted the concept of developing Walcha as an Open Air Gallery. The decision was taken for a number of reasons, not least of all to develop Walcha’s distinctiveness, to provide an additional dimension to the quality of life of our community and to provide a source of expression for our very talented local artists.
So far, a number of sculptures by both local and overseas artists have been established in and around our town. The concept, however, will provide for a variety of media, including landscaping, street furniture and murals. Aboriginal art is also featured. Stroll through our town, inspect our art and enjoy our hospitality.
Call into our Walcha Gallery of Art. Housing modern and contemporary art works, the Gallery hosts regular exhibitions, or for antique lovers, we have Antique Junk, where many hours can be spent looking through the large showroom of treasures from yesteryear.
Browse through our local Walcha Craft shop, which is operated by volunteers and showcases the excellent and varied local art and craft produced in the Walcha area.
CALLING ALL 4WD ENTHUSIASTS – Geraldine 4WD Park
2,250 hectares of undulating country to use as your 4WD playground. A working sheep / wool property ideal for 4WD use.
Plenty of tracks to play on, or go your own way. Camping facilities available for those wishing to stay. We want you to enjoy safe 4WDing for all levels of experience. Located 30 minutes south of Walcha via the Aberbaldie then Geraldine roads, or 1 hour east of Tamworth via Port Stephens Cutting.
For more information on Walcha and the surrounding district, please contact the Walcha Visitor Information Centre on (02) 6774 2460.